Skydiving – 20 Best Things to Do in Munich, Germany

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Ah, Munich, a city where the beer flows as freely as the Rhine River and the cultural attractions are ample. You can explore a multitude of museums, ornate churches, and jaw-dropping castles in the Bavarian capital. From beer halls to castles, we here at Road Affair don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun, which is why we have specially curated this list of the best things to do in Munich. This way, you can craft the perfect itinerary for your holiday in Munich! 

Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany
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Have a Beer at the Hofbräuhaus

The Hofbräuhaus is an absolute must-see in Munich for tourists, regardless if you’re a beer drinker or not. The large beer hall was constructed by order of Duke Wilhelm V in 1589 as during the time period, all the beer was being imported from northern Germany and was quite expensive. Soon, the beer hall became known for its “Brown Beer”, which was exclusively served to those in the Ducal Court in the early 17th century.

Several celebrities have spent time merrily drinking in the hall as the live band electrifies patrons. Some notable regulars include Mozart (who lived down the street), Vladimir Lenin, and Hitler. Before heading back off to Harvard University in 1937, President John F. Kennedy visited the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Rumor has it that the future president was talked into stealing one of the famous Hofbräuhaus mugs as a souvenir, which he attempted and was immediately caught before he could exit the building. 

Today, visitors can enjoy the ambiance of a classic German beer hall and witness where much of Bavarian history was made. The beer hall can get extremely busy during the summer period and on weekends, which is a lot to say for a business with seats for 1500 people on the ground floor alone. Reservations are possible for the second level, but it’s free open seating in the hall and garden so feel free to join another group! Visitors can also opt to book a guided tour of the beer hall to learn more about its fascinating history. 

Interior of the cathedral of Our Lady Frauenkirche in Munich, Germany
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Marvel at the Frauenkirche Cathedral

If you’re on the hunt for free things to do in Munich, then make your way to Frauenkirche Cathedral! This iconic two-tower cathedral has become a landmark of the city, but the best part of this 15th-century cathedral isn’t on the outside but what’s on the inside. It won’t take but two steps inside Frauenkirche Cathedral to see why it’s one of the best tourist attractions in Munich. Your first step will land right near a shoe-shaped impression at the front door, rumored to have been left by the devil himself. Your second step will take you into the church where you’ll see stunning stained-glass windows, massive white pillars, and an eye-catching altarpiece painting by Peter Candide known as the ‘Assumption of the Virgin Mary’. 

It’s completely free to visit Frauenkirche during their open church hours, but it does cost a few euros if you wish to climb the dome tower. Tickets for the Ascent of the Dome are available at entrance G or online in advance. 

Interior of Peterskirche in Munich, Germany.
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Enjoy a Stunning View of Munich from St. Peter’s Church

Arguably the best view of the city is from St. Peter’s Church from its tower known as the “Old Peter” tower. This is the city’s oldest church, located on a small hill behind Marienplatz. It’s this precise location that offers such an incredible view as visitors can overlook Marienplatz below and a 100-kilometer wide view of the Alps in the background. There is no elevator to the top of this 300-foot-high tower, so visitors will need to conquer the 306 stairs to the top. Trust us, it’s well worth the effort!

Tickets for the tower can be purchased on the southwest corner of the building and can be purchased using a card or cash. Once visitors have enjoyed the view from the top, they can explore the many artworks and ornate details inside the church. Of particular interest are the jeweled skeleton of Saint Mundita and the almost 300-year-old Baroque high altar.

Glockenspiel in Munich, Germany
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Watch the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Marienplatz Square

Watching the dancing Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Marienplatz Square is a must for those sightseeing in Munich. Perched atop the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), this singing clocktower features bells and dancing figurines that depict important events in Munich’s history. The focused theme of the singing clock is the wedding of Duke Wilhelm V to Renate of Lorraine which took place in 1568. Visitors can see the knights fighting and a large feast that depicts this merry event. The clock goes off at 11 a.m. and noon each day and again during the high season (March to October) at 5 p.m. 

While in Marienplatz Square, visitors can visit a number of other attractions and landmarks. On the east end of the square, there is the Munich Toy Museum (Spielzeugmuseum München) where visitors can explore four floors in the Old Town Hall of exhibits showcasing a variety of toys throughout the decades. Visitors can also go inside the New Town Hall to explore its neo-gothic architecture and climb the Rathausturm Tower for an excellent view of the city. Marienplatz is also home to some notable landmarks that offer great photo opportunities, such as Fish Fountain (Fischbrunnen), which dates back to the Middle Ages, and the Marian Column (Mariensäule), which was built in the early 17th century and depicts the Virgin Mary at its top. The magical Munich Christmas Market is also held in the square from the end of November until the end of December. 

Deutsches Museum in Munich with Isar river, Germany
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Learn About Technology at the Deutsches Museum

Those interested in all things science and technology should definitely add the Deutsches Museum to their holiday itinerary. This tourist attraction covers several topics with over 20 permanent exhibits spanning from robotics and music to aviation and health. This isn’t your average museum though, as the Deutsches Museum has made each exhibit interactive with buttons and experiments that visitors can enjoy. The museum is very popular with locals and tourists, so it’s best to purchase your tickets in advance online to avoid the crowds. 

Neuschwanstein Castle on the top of the mountain in Bavaria, Germany
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Take a Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle

Most castles pale in comparison to the inspiring storybook look of Neuschwanstein Castle. The 19th-century castle was built for King Louis Ludwig II at a time when castle fortifications were no longer needed. Regardless, King Ludwig II requested a castle be built for him and that it be filled with all the new technological advances of the time. The castle took 20 years to construct, and even though its beauty is truly unmatched by other castles in Germany, King Louis only spent a total of 11 nights in the castle.

Visitors fall in love with the romanticized medieval design that looks like it was plucked out of Cinderella. However, pictures are only allowed to be taken outside the castle, not inside. While this may sound like an odd rule, it actually creates a more captivating experience as visitors are unsure what to expect inside. The surprise makes for a more awe-inspiring experience and is part of the magic of the castle. 

Neuschwanstein Castle is located on the border with Austria, just under a two-hour drive from Munich. It is also possible to get to Neuschwanstein Castle by public transit. Simply take the two-hour train from Munich to Füssen and then hop on the #78 bus for 10 minutes (five stops). However, the best way to experience the castle is by booking a day trip tour from Munich. We highly recommend this full-day tour from Munich as it stops at both Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace, along with other small towns for photo ops and lunch. The tour includes entry tickets, transportation, a guide, and audio guides. 

View of Viktualienmarkt a sunny day. It is a daily food market and a square in the center of Munich near Marienplatz
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Grab a Bite at Viktualienmarkt 

If you’re on the lookout for attractions in Munich for foodies, then make your way to the Viktualienmarkt. This sprawling food market is over 200 years old and features over 100 vendors selling everything from meats and cheese to fresh produce, souvenirs, and hot meals. The Viktualienmarkt is a great place to stop in if you’re exploring the city, as there is a beer garden to unwind in and several food vendors cooking up fresh schnitzels, currywurst, and other German delicacies. The Viktualienmarkt is open daily all year round from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., with the exception of some stalls being closed on Mondays. 

Dachau Concentration Camp - Day Trip from Salzburg

Take a Day Trip to Dachau Camp

Dachau Camp is one of the top must-see World War II sites in Europe and it’s located only a 30-minute drive from the center of Munich. Dachau Camp was the first concentration camp built by Hitler and he built it within three months of being elected chancellor. Its original purpose was to house political prisoners, mainly those who were Communist or Socialist. However, over time the camp transformed into a concentration camp that saw over 200,000 prisoners come through its gates. 

One of the most noteworthy stories to come out of Dachau was in May of 1933. A school teacher named Sebastian Nefzger was beaten to death by an SS officer. The officer claimed the Munich man had committed suicide, but an autopsy later revealed foul play and the officer and his accomplices were brought up on murder charges. Hitler then stepped in to clear the SS officers of all charges and declared that all concentration camps were not subject to German law, essentially giving free rein to SS officers to do whatever they deemed necessary to run the camps. This was the beginning of unimaginable practices within the camps that resulted in the murder of over a million people. 

Dachau Camp is very easy to visit either on your own or as part of a tour group. The fastest way to get there by public transit is by taking the RB16 train from München Hauptbahnhof to Dachau. From here, take the 726 bus 7 stops (around 10 minutes) to Dachau, KZ-Gedenkstätte. The best way to experience Dachau Camp is with a guided tour, as you will gain a better understanding of how the camp was run and how others survived such harsh living conditions. You can book this guided tour of Dachau Camp where you’ll meet your tour group at the camp or this day trip guided tour of Dachau Camp, which includes transportation to and from the site. 

English Garden in Munich, Bavaria, Germany
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Enjoy the Sun in the English Garden

Are you looking for a place to visit in Munich to enjoy the nice weather? Well, then make your way to the English Garden (Englischer Garten) to enjoy Munich’s largest greenspace! 

Seeing as the park is located in Germany, there is obviously a spot to wet your whistle at several beer gardens and restaurants within the park’s sprawling 949 acres. In fact, the 18th-century English Gardens is one of the largest inner-city parks in the world. It features roughly 50 miles of walking and biking trails, a large lake with pedal boat rentals, and a Japanese Tea House. Some of the most popular spots in the park include the Eisbachwelle (Eisbach Wave), a year-round continuous wave on the Eisbach River for surfers to ride, the Monopteros, a Greek temple replica atop a hill offering panoramic views of the park, and the Chinese Tower

You can explore the park on your own or opt to book a guided walking tour of the English Gardens. If you’re interested in working on your river surfing skills, you can also book this three-hour surf experience on the Eisbachwelle. 

Munich Residenz in Germany
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Explore Munich Residenz

The Munich Residenz is a large state-owned palace that is easily one of the top attractions in Munich. The large complex started as a castle in the corner of the city in 1385. Over time, it was transformed into a palace residence for the dukes of Bavaria and served as the official seat of the government from 1508 to 1918. While much of the building was destroyed during WWII, extensive reconstruction has brought the palace back to its awe-inspiring self. Today, the palace is home to the Residence Museum where tourists can explore the Antiquarium, the Court Garden and Chapel, the Royal Apartments, and more of the over 130-room building. The ornate architecture and detail within are truly astounding as each prince left their mark on the design and décor of the palace. Visitors will also get to tour the Treasure Chamber, where the city’s crown jewels are on display, the Cuvilliés Theatre, the oldest Baroque theater in Europe, and the Bavarian State Collection of Porcelain.

Free audio guides are provided and visitors should expect to spend about two to three hours exploring the palace. Those looking for a more interactive way to explore the Munich Residenz should consider booking this two-hour guided tour with a chambermaid. 

Visitors to the old Pinakothek in Munich admire the paintings of the great masters of antiquity
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Admire the European Artworks at Alte Pinakothek

If you have a limited amount of time and are wondering what to do in Munich, then make your way to the Alte Pinakothek. This is one of the oldest art galleries in the world and served as an inspiring blueprint for several other galleries built in Belgium, France, and Italy. Alte Pinakothek was built in neo-renaissance style and was completed after 10 years of construction in 1836. The museum was originally built on orders from King Ludwig I, who needed a spot to store the House of Wittelsbach’s outstanding collection of artworks which was started in the 16th century by Duke Wilhelm IV. Today, tourists can explore several famous artworks by notable European artists like Frans Hals, Leonardo da Vinci, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Botticelli, and more. There are roughly 700 paintings found in the collection, including highlights like ‘The Madonna of the Carnation’ by Leonardo da Vinci, ‘The Great Last Judgement’ by Peter Paul Reubens, and the ‘Great Fish Market’ by Jan Brueghel the Elder. 

Entrance to the museum is free for those under the age of 18 or who are studying arts, architecture, or similar studies and can provide a valid ID. 

Insider Tip: Several museums in Munich offer €1 entry tickets on Sundays. This includes Alte Pinakothek, Pinakothek der Moderne, the Bavarian National Museum, the Munich Museum of Egyptian Art, the Museum Brandhorst, the Museum of Five Continents, and the State Collections of Classical Antiquities.

Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, Germany
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Take a Tour of Nymphenburg Palace

Another outstanding Munich attraction to add to your Munich itinerary is Nymphenburg Palace. This nearly 500-acre palace estate is an architectural dream as it features several architectural styles and garden designs to create a harmonious eclectic look. The estate is home to the second-largest greenspace in Munich, as well as a large collection of Nymphenburg porcelain which originated from Munich, specifically the palace where there once stood a factory. The palace is open for visitors to tour, including the apartments, bed chambers, and chapel. Perhaps the most notable place to visit on the grounds is the Marstallmuseum. This is one of the most impressive stable museums in the world as it houses several ornate sleighs, coaches, and riding equipment from the House of Wittelsbach spanning 300 years. One of the most impressive highlights from the collection is the Coronation Coach of Emperor Karl VII, which was designed in a French Rocco and is easily one of the most enchanting and beautiful coaches ever built.  

Other than touring the palace and museum, visitors can explore the grounds and see several other significant buildings, gardens, and statues. One of the more unique things to do at the palace takes place in the summer (April to October) when tourists can enjoy a guided gondola ride through the estate’s canals and lakes. 

Since the palace has so much ground to cover, we highly advise taking a guided tour of Nymphenburg Palace. Check out this two-hour guided tour with a chambermaid. 

Learn About Movie Productions at Bavaria Filmstadt

One of the most unique museums in Munich has to be the Bavaria Filmstadt. This is a great interactive museum for visitors of all ages or for those with a serious love for TV and film. The Bavaria Filmstadt was once Southern Germany’s first film studio and opened over 100 years ago. Since then, it has created several well-known international and German films and shows, such as Das Boot, Stowaway, and The Rosenheim Cops. Visitors can go behind the scenes of these films and many others on a guided film city tour. One of the highlights of the tour is the visual effects area, where visitors can star in their own short film! The Bavaria Filmstadt also features a virtual reality experience and a 4-D theater where almost all the senses are engaged for the ultimate movie-watching experience. During the month of October, visitors can also sign up for their Halloween Tour where an area of the studio is transformed into a haunted house.

BMW Museum in Munich, Germany
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Visit the BMW Museum 

Calling all car enthusiasts! If you’re looking for a museum that will pique your interest, then you can’t go wrong with a visit to the BMW Museum. Not only will you discover the company’s history, but there are several fascinating exhibits and showrooms featuring old and new BMW cars, Rolls Royce, airplane engines, motorcycles, and more. One of the highlights of the museum is Elvis’ restored BMW Roadster! After touring the museum, visitors can enjoy a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant, café, or snack bar. 

Olympiapark in Munich, Germany
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Explore Olympiapark München

If you’re looking for activities in Munich to get your heart pumping, then make your way to Olympiapark München to explore the large park and stadium that was constructed for the 1972 Olympic games. Visitors can play a game of soccer in the SoccArena, ice skate in the Olympic Ice Stadium, go for a dip in the Olympic-size swimming pool, or take a roof climbing tour on top of the Olympic Stadium! The park also features tennis courts, SEA LIFE Munich, the BMW Museum, minigolf, boat rentals (SUP, pedal, and rowboats), and a zip line course over the Olympic Stadium. There is literally so much to do here that visitors would be hard-pressed to fit it into one day. However, one must-see in the park is to go up the Olympic Tower to enjoy the views of the city from the 623-foot viewing platform. Also at the top of the tower is a café and a restaurant. A visit to the Olympiapark is easily one of the most fun things to do in Munich! 

Hofgarten Park with Diana Tempel in Munich, Germany
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See the Italian Renaissance Gardens at Hofgarten

The 17th-century Italian Renaissance garden located behind the Munich Residenz is a beautiful spot to go for a stroll and enjoy a sunny day. The courtyard was built as an expansion of the Munich Residenz by Duke Maximilian I in the 17th century and he modeled them after the Italian Renaissance gardens. What sets this garden apart is it’s surrounded by some of the most impressive and beautiful buildings in the city (Munich Residenz, the Bavarian State Chancellery, and Odeonsplatz Square). Of course, like many parks in Germany, there is a beer garden to enjoy a refreshing pint of Bavarian beer after your walk. In the garden, there are several Instagram-worthy spots and you might even get lucky enough to find a musician playing in the Diana Temple in the center of the garden. A path leads from Hofgarten to Finanzgarten, another public green space featuring several statues of notable poets and philosophers. 

Three friends in beer tent at Dult or Oktoberfest holding giant pretzels up in the air
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Celebrate Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a fantastic event to attend in Munich. Contrary to the name, the event actually takes place over a two-week period at the end of September with the last day of events landing on the first Sunday of October. Oktoberfest in Munich is the world’s largest Volksfest (people’s festival) and features several large beer halls with live bands, dancing, food, and beers, along with a traveling carnival of rides and marching performances. 

If you won’t be visiting Munich during Oktoberfest, don’t feel like you’ve missed out on all the fun. Instead, head to the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum. This multilevel museum is a fantastic place to visit as it covers the history of beer making in Bavaria, the roots and traditions that brought us Oktoberfest, and the oldest known beer recipe. Keeping in spirit with Oktoberfest, you’ll also get to sample a few beers! 

The newly renovated Lenbachhaus in Munich, museum, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
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Take in the Artworks at Lenbachhaus

Lenbachhaus is one of Munich’s best modern and contemporary art museums, featuring works by notable artists like Kandinsky, Franz Marc, and Paul Klee. Several of the works were created by members of the Blue Rider group, Der Blaue Reiter in German, which was a Munich-based society of international artists who challenged the old traditions and experimented with abstraction and expressionism. Lenbachhaus is open every day except Mondays and a free audio guide is included in a regular admission ticket. 

Interior of Asamkirche baroque church with altar and ceiling view in Munich
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Admire the Baroque Architecture of Asam Church

Asam Church, or Asamkirche in German, is an opulent 18th-century Catholic church that is sure to take your breath away. Designed in a Baroque and Rococo style, the church features an interior encased in gold leaf, stuccos, and frescoes for visitors to admire. While this church may sound like the picture of luxury it’s surprisingly small inside, allowing visitors only to walk amongst the pews. Asam Church is a truly inspiring work of art and is completely free to visit! 

Munich city skyline, Germany
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Take a Walking Tour of the City

The best way to familiarize yourself with a city is by taking a walking tour. This not only allows you to familiarize yourself with Munich’s streets and attractions but it also will give you the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the city’s history. There are several themed walking tours for all kinds of interest. 

If you’re looking for a standard walking tour to learn more about the history and monuments, then check out this two-hour guided walking tour of Marienplatz and the English Gardens. For those with a quenching thirst and interest in German beers, consider booking this three-hour guided walking tour of Bavaria’s beer halls and breweries. Another excellent option for those with a specific interest in World War II history is this two-and-a-half-hour guided tour of the Third Reich. The tour stops at several important Nazi sites and explores Munich’s dark history as the birthplace of the Nazi movement. For an all-encompassing guided tour that includes the Hofbräuhaus, Viktualienmarkt, and the Old Town landmarks, then consider booking this one-and-a-half-hour guided walking tour. 

Munich has so much to offer that we hope this list has helped you narrow down a more personalized itinerary. From beer halls to surfing on the rivers and exploring castles, we know Munich has something for everybody. All you have to do now is figure out how many of these outstanding attractions you can fit into your holiday!

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